Delhi Development Authority v Jagan Singh & Ors.
DATE OF ORDER:
FEBRUARY 17, 2023
HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SHAH
Appellant: Delhi Development Authority
Respondent: Jagan Singh & Ors.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court (hereinafter referred to as ‘Supreme Court’ or ‘the Court’), has set aside the impugned order of the Delhi High Court as it was not in accordance with the law of the Act of 2013 and held that there is no laps of the acquisition proceedings.
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
- Section 24(2) – states the said proceedings will be considered to have lapsed whereby an award under the section 11 has been given, five years or more before the enactment of this Act however the actual possession of the said land has not been obtained or the remuneration has not been provided. The competent Authorities, if it so opts, shall undertake the litigation of such land acquisition in pursuant to the provisions of this Act.
- Section 24(1)(b) – When a section 11 award has already been issued, the Land Acquisition Act's rules will apply to the remaining procedures as if the Land Acquisition Act had not been abolished.
- A writ petition was filed before the Delhi High court, where the court ordered the land acquisition to be lapsed under section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 on 24th January 2017.
- High Court observed that on 16th June 2007 the physical possession of the disputed land was obtained. With reference to the judgment of ‘Pune Municipal Corporation and Anr. Vs. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki and Ors 2014’ and non-payment of the compensation amount to the original petitioner, the said order was given.
- Feeling aggrieved by the order of the Delhi High Court, Delhi development authority has filed the present appeal to the Supreme Court.
Whether the word ‘or’ has to be interpreted as ‘nor’ or as ‘and’ with respect to section 24(2) of the Act of 2013?
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT
- It has been argued by the council that the judgment referred by the court has been overruled in the case of ‘Indore Development Authority versus Manoharlal and others 2020’.
- In the said judgment it was clarified that land acquisition cannot be lapsed once the possession has been obtained by the owner under section 24(2) of the Act of 2013.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT
- The council has states that there is no issue in the order given by the High Court. The order stands valid and is in accordance with the law.
ANALYSIS BY THE COURT:
- With regards to the case of ‘Indore Development Authority’ the order given by the High Court is not in accordance with the law.
- Therefore the order of the High Court has been set aside and the present appeal stands dismissed.
In the above case section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 has been elaborated. According to this section if the award has been given within five years before the enforcement of the Act of 2013 then there will be no laps of the land acquisition and the proceedings will be carried on as per 2013 Act only.
Accordingly there will be no lapse if property has been obtained but no remuneration has been given. Additionally, if reimbursement has been given but ownership has not been obtained, then there will be no lapse.
Similarly non-payment of the compensation amount does not make ground for the laps of the acquisition proceedings. Therefore the section 24(2) of the Act should read as section 24(2) of the Act of 2013 and not a the part of section 24(1)(b) of the Act.
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